Lessons in Librarianship: Publicland – In which mental whiplash occurs…

I’m a fan of good basic reference questions such as:

Combo Project Patron: I need books on horticulture and real estate!

ME: just…in general? Or are you looking for anything in particular? I mean, just a broad look at horticulture?

CPP: …more like…I want to grow vegetables? Organic farming?

ME: Excellent! I can totally work with that! And Real Estate…buying/selling a house? Learning to become a real estate agent? Something else?

CPP: Buying and…fixing up?

ME: Great, I can definitely find stuff on both of those for you!

Those sorts of questions are always fun and also make me feel incredibly helpful. It’s not just “feeling knowledgeable” it’s the using of search skills to bring forth useful book-fruit…which might help CPP GROW their own fruits!

Then there was a patron I haven’t seen in quite a while; working a different shift means different “regulars”.

Bear in mind that the following interaction is all one long conversation mostly AT me tonight in rapid-fire nearly caps-locked style excited talking.

Incredibly Chipper But Highly Curious Patron: I took a class and do you know? It’s SUPER easy to learn French, you’d be surprised! So fast and easy! You can learn it JUST LIKE THAT! I took maybe 6 classes but then stopped for some reason. I forget why. The teacher was great. But by now she’s be like 80 or 90. Or dead. OH and if you learn French then you can read Italian and Portuguese and Spanish. You should take a class and learn French! It’s so easy! Even you can understand!

ME: …well if you enjoy languages, you should try our Mango online language courses! You could continue the French or…

ICBHCP: Oh no. I’m a rock about that.

ME: I’m sure that’s not true.

ICBHCP: Thanks for thinking kindly of me but I still use my Walkman from the 70s! I have a portable CD player and still can’t figure it out! So do you have another job?

ME: Yes, in another library.

ICBHCP: Good for you, keeping busy!

ME: I try. Better than getting into trouble, right?

ICBHCP: Oh I don’t think you’d do that; you’re a big girl!

ME: …Thanks?

ICBHCP: You’re welcome! So where else do you work? I have this wand thing! You NEED to see it. You’d LOVE it! You just see something, like say you like that pattern? You can put it on that! Or this! Or the road! ANYTHING! You just put it on and push it over it *bwarp* and it takes the picture! Then you can download it into your computer! And even if someone does’t want you to have it; you have it!

ME: Uh..

ICBHCP: So what days do you work?

ME: *whiplashing by this point* Not today, usually.

ICBHCP: Oh so you’re not here on this day normally?

ME: Not usually, I swapped with…

ICBHCP: Well where’s your other job?

ME: Other Town; out in the boonies. It’s a warehouse so people can’t really walk around the books like here.

ICBHCP: Oh that’s too far. I’m not going there.

ME: Well you couldn’t really anywa….

ICBHCP: What time do you start on your normal days?

ME: …we start at 5 for the evening shifts and…

ICBHCP: So you only work 3 hours? That’s nice!

ME: Well, 3.5; but yes it’s good to…

ICBHCP: Have you ever been to the Other Local Library? It’s HUGE! They have like 2 long rows of computers but you’re crammed in like THIS and have to put your work on your lap. And the heat is blowing right down on you so hard you want to put a BIKINI on!

ME: …That sounds too warm.

ICBHCP: Yes! It makes you want to start sweating.

ME; Oh I probably would.

ICBHCP: …Yeah. You’d definitely be sweating.

ME: …? Thanks?

ICBHCP: You’re welcome!

I pretty much felt like I was talking to a C-3P0 unit which had been switched to hyper-mode…still; it was nice to have all pleasant transactions tonight! Even if a few of those comments did give me distinct pause…also, if you don’t know have the song from Moana stuck in your head, I envy you…